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Victoria HarbourCats | HarbourCats Optimistically Preparing for 2021 Season

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An open letter to our wonderful fans

from Jim Swanson, GM/Managing Partner

February 3, 2021

Dear Loyal Fans:

We will come out of this, folks. And when we do, the Victoria HarbourCats will be stronger than ever.

Bet your bippy every single person with the HarbourCats organization believes that, and is ready for it.

Covid (hate the c-word) has taken a strip off so many. It’s done it to us. It’s brought entire industries to their knees. Covid hates baseball, hates sports, apparently. But baseball, and your HarbourCats, are stronger than that.

Bank on this — when we’re told we can play, we’ll be READY. Our sister franchise in Nanaimo will be ready, too.  Doesn’t matter if we find out on May 15, or May 30, we’ll be good to go. The work is being done, and we’re ready to lose these chains and get back to community, to entertainment, to baseball.

To that end, as you may have seen, we’ve hired another MLB-veteran for our coaching staff, we are starting to re-ticket customers who held 2020 tickets (stay tuned for more important news on this), we are ramping up contact with our sponsors and we are touching base with players and host families, all in the anticipation and hope of playing in June of 2021.

Time is on our side, like it sadly isn’t for other sports. Hard not to see a scenario where our other great local sports partners (hello, Royals and Grizzlies), who do so much in the community, have their winter wiped out — like our summer was in a dreadful 2020. We hope they come back, but it looks bleak.

We think the HarbourCats (and Shamrocks, too!) have a chance to lead the community’s cheering of a return to normal. Of enough people getting jabbed in the arm at (hopefully) round-the-clock drive-through vaccination sites that we can safely enjoy an outdoor sporting event. A concert. A gathering in the inner harbour.

Imagine how good that first hotdog will taste. That first HarbourCats Ballpark Blonde ale, that first sip.

What we promise is this — to all our partners, to all our fans, who have supported us through this, all your patience will never be forgotten. It’ll be revered, and will take up a chapter in the book someday. Tickets purchased, or sponsorships paid for and rolled ahead — we WILL ensure that value is still there — and then some. NO RISK and ALL REWARD to you, our faithful fans and sponsors.

Thank you — keep wearing those HarbourCats t-shirts and hoodies and caps as proudly as ever, so we can get back to the life we love on Vancouver Island.

The HarbourCats will be back. The Nanaimo NightOwls will get started. Baseball will return, and it’ll light up the city’s Stadium District again, with home runs, and kids smiling, and the familiar Coho horn sounding clearly from the harbour, like we just scored another run. The fireworks will be even that much better.

See you at the park soon!

Jim Swanson

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HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR HARBOURCATS

Season Tickets and 10-Game Flex Packs Now Available! (NOTE:  Single game tickets will go on-sale in early 2021)

If you are able, or if you know friends and colleagues who are able, please consider any of the following:

2021 Season tickets — the best way to help, one that guarantees you seats to all our games (usually 35 per year or so) plus other season ticket holder perks. Contact chris@harbourcats.com for details. SEASON TICKET PROMOTION NOW ON!  Get a free Prince of Whales whale watching pass (145.00 value) with every season ticket purchase! Plus other great perks!  Details HERE!

 

10-Game Flex Packs / Vouchers — Don’t want to commit, or can’t commit to season tickets? Consider 10-game flex packs – anytime vouchers that can be used in any combination…10 tickets at one game, 1 ticket at 10 games or anything in between. Season ticket voucher equivalents (35 vouchers) are also available.  Flex Packs can be purchased at the office and are also available on-line at:  https://victoria-harbourcats-official.myshopify.com/products/10-game-flex-pack-general-admission

Corporate Partnerships – Want to put your company name or brand in front of our 100,000 fans every season?  Or know someone who does?  Consider joining us as a partner.  From a simple program ad, to the most complex of game day sponsorship, complete with signage and tickets, we will customize any campaign to suit your needs and budget.  And with our new HCATS.TV platform and our ownership group’s expansion of a new team in Nanaimo in 2021, the opportunities are now Island wide! Contact john@harbourcats.com for details.

Fundraising / 50-50 – Have an organization that needs to raise funds now?  A $1000 investment buys you 100 anytime 2021 game vouchers for our Premium Reserved seats that you can then turn around and sell for $20 each, earning you your investment back, plus another $1000 in return. We will then hold a 50-50 date for you in 2021 and you can bring your group to the park to sell that game, taking home 50% of the proceeds. Contact chris@harbourcats.com for details.

Merchandise – Consider a HarbourCats merchandise purchase from our store at 1814 Vancouver Street, or from our on-line store, The Cat Shop, at https://victoria-harbourcats-official.myshopify.com/ New items, including 2020 game caps and player’s gear are arriving weekly and we need to clear them out!

OFFICE HOURS

For January and February, we are officially open Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 5 pm.  We are often in and out of office during off-season, so best to call 778-265-0327 before venturing over to make sure. Closed Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.

For up to date details on the HarbourCats and the 2021 West Coast League season, stay tuned to the HarbourCats web site at https://www.harbourcats.com and join the HarbourCats Facebook Fan Community Group page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/harbourcats

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Stability and more support the story for NightOwls coaching staff

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Greg Frady, Gorman Heimueller, Sean FitzGerald are the only coaches the Nanaimo NightOwls have ever known.

With the West Coast League team entering its third season at historic Serauxmen Stadium, that trio will have some help for 2024 — and the local kind.

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Frady, the Head Coach and veteran of college and international baseball, is proud to add two local coaches to the staff — First Base Coach Tyler Moretti, and Mental Skills/Bullpen Coach Jordan Herbison.

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Pitching Coach Heimueller, amazingly, is approaching his 50th year in the game, a career that includes two World Series rings, while FitzGerald, who runs the offense from the third base box, brings a wealth of junior college experience from Skagit Valley College.

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Moretti is well known locally as a former Pirates player who went south to play at Jamestown College, also seeing time at then-named VIBI. He has coached at the PBL and collegiate level.

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Herbison, originally from Ontario, played at UBC and the former RHP is now an instructor at Vancouver Island University, and was the mental performance coach for the NightOwls in 2023.

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Herbison and Moretti will give NightOwls players more opportunities for development.

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Arm injuries in pro and college baseball — NightOwls make organizational statement

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Heimueller has served as a minor league pitching coach and coordinator for many MLB organizations, most recently with the Padres. He has World Series rings for his work with the Twins and Phillies.

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With the NightOwls, Gorm has enjoyed working with them all — but especially strong-command pitchers such as Nathan Buchan, Garrett Goodall, Jake Fleury and Josh Laukkanen.

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“Gorm loves to say he’s never seen a ground ball leave the park,” said Swanson.

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“We see athletes on our team and others using max effort rather than prioritizing strikes — that makes for longer games, too, another focus in baseball. If someone can throw 97, with healthy actions and commanding the baseball, that’s great — but few can and let’s stop turning our backs on pitchers who can get people out with pitch location as the priority.

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“There is too much focus on radar gun ratings, on spin rate readouts, and Gorm and our coaching staff will be developing and rewarding pitchers who locate pitches and get batters out.”

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The NightOwls are excited about the player roster for the coming season, and the mix of pitchers on the roster — different styles, to create different looks and get the 27 outs required to win games.

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Victoria HarbourCats – 2024 Season Ticket Pick-up Event

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WE ARE BACK! 2024 Season Tickets Available for Pick-Up

May 17, 2024

We are inviting all season ticket holders, host families, and fans to join us for our annual “MAX MIXER” Season Ticket Holder Pick Up Event on Tuesday, May 28th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at MAX FURNITURE at 3460 Quadra St. in Victoria.

WHAT: Season Ticket Pick-Up and Pre-Season Mixer
WHERE: MAX FURNITURE – 3460 Quadra St.
WHEN: Tuesday, May 28th from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Come meet your fellow fans, grab your season tickets, and mingle with HarbourCats staff and Harvey the HarbourCat as we kickoff the 2024 season.

There will be ticket and merchandise deals offered exclusively at the event.

NO RSVP required but if you have any questions, please contact the HarbourCats office at 778-265-0327.

If you can’t make the event, you can pick up your tickets at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street. Open M-F 9AM to 5PM, and Saturdays 10AM to 4PM.

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